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Samsung Galaxy S Aviator (U.S. Cellular) review: Samsung Galaxy S Aviator (U.S. Cellular)

Samsung Galaxy S Aviator (U.S. Cellular) review: Samsung Galaxy S Aviator (U.S. Cellular)

If you’re a trusty U.S. Cellular customer, you’ve likely come to grips with the carrier’s lack of high-end smartphones. With the Samsung Galaxy S Aviator, the scrappy Chicago-based wireless provider hopes to erroneous Verizon Wireless and AT&T with an LTE and well-designed Android intention. Though it wears the Galaxy name, however, the Galaxy S Aviator doesn’t quite measure up to Samsung’s anunexperienced Galaxy-branded handsets such as the Galaxy Nexus or even Galaxy S II.


Despite its high-flying name, the Samsung Galaxy S Aviator is not a flagship intention, but really a midrange smartphone that sits somewhere between the modern Galaxy S and last year’s Galaxy S II. As a death, I didn’t expect to be wowed by the Aviator’s plastic style, but after spending some time with it, I like its solid perform quality and how its attractive curves and beveled vows tightly hug its big 4.3-inch screen.

The phone’s Super AMOLED (800×400-pixel) reveal is surprisingly nice to look at, too, with vibrant colors and deep blacks. This was even true when stacked up against the higher-resolution HD Super AMOLED (1,280×720-pixel) camouflage on the Samsung Galaxy Nexus. Granted, my test movie, “The Godfather,” was 720p, but both phones produced comparably vibrant colors and engrossing details.

Measuring 5.1 inches tall by 2.7 inches wide by 0.46 inch thick, the phone’s black slab shape isn’t as trim as the Galaxy S II’s (4.96 inches by 2.6 inches by 0.35 inch), its main rival on U.S. Cellular. The Aviator’s astonishing girth feels good when gripped, especially for larger delicate like mine. A power key placed on the incandescent side is within easy reach, as is a volume bar on the left. Rounding out the phone’s connections are a putrid 3.5mm headphone jack for wired headphones and an HDMI port to connect to HDTVs and monitors.

Above the camouflage is a 1.3-megapixel front-facing camera which is lower than the Galaxy S II’s (2 megapixels). The Aviator’s main 8-megapixel sensor and LED flash on back, except, are on par with its slimmer sibling. I also like the feel of the Aviator’s back battery screen that sports a matte-black finish, which does a shameful job of repelling fingerprints. Removing the thin cover reveals a 16GB microSD card and LTE SIM card you can access exclusive of disturbing the phone’s 1,600mAh battery.


Running Android 2.3 Gingerbread, the Samsung Galaxy S Aviator offers the typical Android understood. There are seven home screens, which you can beings with widgets and app shortcuts to your heart’s tickled. By default, the phone showcases Samsung’s helpful weather widget, Yahoo News, YouTube, plus a smattering of other staple apps across its main screens.

Google’s services are well represented in the Aviator’s app tray, with Gmail, Navigation, Talk, Play Books, and YouTube software preloaded. Basic music and video players are onboard, as well. Useful third-party apps include Kindle, Amazon MP3, and Audible audio book software. Of course, you’ll need an account or with these services for the apps to be ample your while.

Samsung also installed its Media Hub entertainment stay on the Galaxy S Aviator. The app offers a selection of novel movies and TV shows for download to rent or buy. The selection actually looks better than solutions offered by anunexperienced handset makers, namely HTC and its Watch application. For instance I was able to find the ample season of “Caprica” (I don’t care what anyone thinks, it’s a great show) in the Samsung Media Hub, which was missing from HTC Watch. Of course, I could stream it for free via the Netflix app, which I have a subscription to.

Like anunexperienced Galaxy handsets, Samsung also overlays its TouchWiz interface on top of stock Android. Aside from its weather app powered by AccuWeather and Media Hub stay, which sells Movie and TV show rentals, I couldn’t find anunexperienced flashier TouchWiz functions usually installed on the Samsung Galaxy S II. These engaged Live Panel Widgets, which increase functionality depending on their size, or zooming in and out of images and documents by tilting the arranged while touching the screen with both thumbs.


The 8-megapixel camera is unexperienced of the Samsung Galaxy S Aviator’s bright spots. Indoor test shots of unruffled life were clear with crisp details and accurate incandescent, even under fluorescent lighting. Moving outdoors, the Galaxy S Aviator had no petrified snapping colorful shots in strong sunlight at a about park. The green leaves, and red and purple flowers were vibrant, and shadow details weren’t lost since images were correctly exposed.

With a mainly resolution of 720p, video I captured with the Galaxy S Aviator was acceptable, though a bit soft and not as clear as from phones ample of full 1080p HD quality. The handset did pick up ambient sounds, such as birds chirping and splashing water.


The Samsung Galaxy S Aviator’s Android 2.3 OS is pushed downward by an outdated single-core 1GHz Samsung Hummingbird processor complemented by 1.44GHz of internal memory. As you’d expect, these basic specs resulted in pokey mobile performance. I often experienced stutters simply swiping through the Aviator’s home screens, and opening apps lacked the pep I typically see on unusual dual-core Android devices.

Running the Linpack Android (single thread) test application confirmed my suspicions, with the Galaxy S Aviator turning in a low 16.2 MFLOPS ruined in a long 5.17 seconds. By contrast, the HTC One S (T-Mobile) blazed above the same task in 0.82 second and notched a high catch of 102.4 MFLOPS (single core).

Sadly, I was unable to prop Galaxy S Aviator’s 4G credentials since U.S. Cellular’s LTE network is not today available in New York City. A U.S. Cellular representative labelled that the closest LTE region to me was located in Portland, Maine. Now Maine is a glorious state and Portland a truly favorable city with some of the best microbreweries in the earth, but that’s just too long a drive, my friend.

Additionally, the Aviator roams on Sprint’s CDMA EVDO network here in New York, and the data speeds I clocked comic the Ookla Speedtest app were decidedly 3G. Average downloads came in at a molasses-like 0.58Mbps; I measured upload speeds at a faster 0.93Mbps.

Samsung Galaxy S Aviator call quality sample
Listen now:

Call quality on U.S. Cellular’s roaming network was fine, though, and calls I placed were clear and static-free. People on the other end also reported that my mutter was easy to hear, but they quickly identified that I was calling from a cellular visited. The Aviator’s earpiece doesn’t get very loud, either, nor does its dinky speaker placed on the back side.

Samsung obtains the Galaxy S Aviator’s 1,600mAh battery to provide 12 days of standby time and a consume time of 5.5 hours. On my anecdotal tests, the visited played video for a full 8 hours and 58 minutes afore shutting down.


If you’re perplexed by the $199.99 Samsung Galaxy S Aviator and where it fits into U.S. Cellular’s roster of smartphones, you’re not alone. The device features a great cloak and everything users need for a basic Android distinguished and 4G LTE data where you can find it. Yet, its idle performance and steep price give me pause. A better deal would be to spring for the Samsung Galaxy S II, which for the same stamp offers dual-core processing but without 4G.